Small Fraction of MOSCOW S
Jews Attend. SynagOgne
By DAVID MILLER
(Copyright, 1959, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)
(Editor's Note: This is the third of a series of articles front
the Soviet Union by David Miller, special correspondent of
the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, who is studying Jewish life
in the USSR and in other countries behind the Iron Curtain.
Miller is traveling on a Pulitzer Scholarship from the Columbia
University Graduate School of Journalism.)
e's a Sketch!
Is THE PLACE TO SHOP
YOUR HOLIDAY NEEDS!
MOSCOW—In the bright sun- ended, dozens crowded around
Large serection of fine silk,
shine of a Saturday morning, the three young Americans.
rayon or wool tateism
the old and middle-aged filed
"Who are you? Do you know
noisily into the high-domed syn- my cousin Harry Kaveberg in
Machzorim (Hebrew and
agogue at number 8, Bolshoi Brooklyn? Do you like our syn-
Spassoglinishchevsky, only a agogue? Are you married?"
few minutes' walk from Red
The questions, fired in Yid-
Square, the heart of Moscow.
50 different styles of silver wine cups
dish from a dozen points,
to adorn your
They came alone and in twos
and threes, taking their familiar broke the mood of the service.
places on the hard, wooden Hands went out in hand-
This caricature of Soviet
by EASTERN SILVER CO., New York
benches. They greeted each oth- shakes—both for a "gut Shab-
Khrushchev drew a
er in a warm, heartfelt hand-
chuckle from the subject in
Finest quality yarmelkas and talis
shake reserved for old friends. to a fellow Jew.
As the members of the con- New York. Khrushchev auto-
MR. J. SPITZER
It was Sabbath morning in
graphed the drawing and re-
Moscow—a scene that could be gregation folded their prayer turned it to Jack Rosen, who
MIRRIAM MANUFACTURING CO. OF NEW YORK
repeated in varying degrees shawls, tucked them away neat- sketched it during luncheon.
around the world. But this was ly in jacket pockets and made
MANY STYLES OF CANDLE STICKS IN CHROME,
different, for here stood the their way out, a group of 30 or
BRASS, SILVER and THE NEW SKY BLUE AND
remnant of Moscow's religious 40 gathered in the narrow Believes Russians Wish
street. But a few moments later to Visit Jewish State
MOSAIC PATINA IMPORTED FROM ISRAEL.
Carefully and with reverence, almost everyone had left for
Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News
they slowly unfolded worn home.
On Yom Kippur, Rabbi Lev-
JERUSALEM—There is rea-
prayer shawls, uncovered well-
used prayer books and began ine told this reporter, all 2,000 son to believe that representa-
the service. About 300 men sat seats in the synagogue were tives of the Supreme Soviet in
in the downstairs section. At taken and another 4,000 to 5,000 Moscow would accept an invita-
least 100 women trudged up the people filled the streets hoping tion to visit Israel, if such a bid
Best Seller ...
were to be extended, David
steps near the street entrance for a chance to enter.
and took seats in the balcony.
"The services were so fill- Hacohen, Israeli member of the
There were stretches of empty ed," he explained, "that it Interparliamentary Union's pre-
seats but the synagogue. looked was necessary to hold two sidium, declared here.
Hacohen made the statement
services to accommodate as
many as possible. Even that upon his return from a visit
The most remarkable note
was not enough. Many private to the USSR where he was ac-
of the three-hour service was
$R 31 . 5 $ 2 95
services were held in homes, corded high official honors in
the absence of any Soviet be-
apartments and single rooms." the Russian city of Gomel, the
low the age of 40 or 50. Only
place of his birth.
All Best Sellers
three young people were in
The rabbi, wearing a black
He had gone to Russia as a
the congregation—two Ameri- coat and wide-brimmed hat, is
$1 Off List
can girls serving as guides at a muscular six feet, three inches member of the delegation from
the American Exhibition in tall. He looked as if he could the IPU, which had held its
annual congress in Warsaw.
Sokolniki Park and this re- throw a giant to the floor.
"You asked what was left of Philadelphia Federation
Above the women in the
balcony stood .a vacant section Jewish life in Moscow these Opens Anniversary Exhibit
reserved for a choir that is no days," he said. "There you have
Air-Cooled for Your Comfort
more. The harmonizing of the part of the answer, You have public exhibition of priceless
choir during services gave
How does the synagogue sup-
UN 3-0543 - UN 3-1557
the 84-year-old synagogue its
rating the 60th anniversary of
name of the "Choral Syna- port itself?
Open Sunday thru Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
the Federation of Jewish Agen-
"Religious activities in the cies opened here Sunday, The
All that remained of the choir Soviet Union are supported by exhibition traces the story of
was an informal group of four those who attend. This is true 4,000 years of charity and be-
or five middle-aged men. They for synagogues and churches. nevolence.
sat in an alcove at the side of We support ourselves with con
the altar and helped fill out the tributions from the people you
cantor's intonations, a mere saw here. During the year per-
shell of the magnificence that haps 3,000 contribute."
Is that enough?
once brought fame to the larg-
est of Moscow's synagogues.
"It is enough. We manage.
These remaining singers, who Financially, we are in excellent
knew the service by memory, condition at present."
And the other 400,000 Jews
"There is no need to," they in Moscow? What is their re-
said simply. "Besides, there is lationship with the syna-
Rabbi Leib Levine, Chief
"We never see them and
Rabbi of Moscow, took his place
at the right hand of the cantor. they take no interest in the
Both sides of the electric-lighted synagogue. But it is up to
altar were adorned with three- them. In the Soviet Union we
foot high tablets inscribed in say it is a matter of personal
Hebrew and Russian prayers choice. Why not leave it at
asking "Peace for the USSR."
Similar scenes and inscrip-
Then these people never have
tions are found in Moscow's any contact with Jewish reli-
three other synagogues but all gious life?
are smaller and less frequently
"That is hard to say. Many
attended than the Central Syn- conduct their own services at
home. Many hold services with
All during the service, the their families or with friends."
big wooden doors leading to the
Does the state interfere in
All Accounts Insured to $10,000 by
main hall remained open. Pass- any way with any of these
an Agency of United States Gov't
ersby would occasionally pause services?
for a moment, listen to the
"No. There is freedom of re-
chanting and move on. There ligion in the USSR."
DEXTER at CORTLAND
were no interruptions. No one
LIVERNOIS at W. 7 MILE ROAD
Are there enough books?
W. 9 MILE ROAD near COOLIDGE
"Everyone has his own
But as.soon as the service book," Rabbi Levine continued.
"A great many of them are old
WOODWARD at CONGRESS
IF YOU TURN THE
3 Other Branches
from Israel and the United
States as gifts. They come from
time to time. We get them."
UPSIDE DOWN YOU WON'T
Then he added: "But I must
FIND A FINER WINE THAN
say that our needs are not very
great. We do , not have what
might be called new members.
The old people come. But there
Milan Wineries, Detroit, Mich. I are no young ones taking their
"THIS IS MY GOD"
SPITZER'S " ErFrctaTIVt
Classified Ads Bring Results
People who save
Itis the high return that does it I